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Force 3 180GB in MBP8,2 slow speed for read/write


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Dear Corsair,


Last week I bought the Corsair Force 3 180GB SSD for my MacBook Pro I purchased just a few weeks ago. It is the basic 15" configuration with the only things changed are the screen, which is high-res glare and changed the keyboard layout from Dutch (I live in The Netherlands) to English International.


The SSD I bought for my MBP began showing failure, as soon as I installed Lion on it and it were to load the desktop and dock icons, it took a long time to do so. It was slower than the traditional HDD, it even showed the colored lolly mouse sign to show me it is being very busy. I thought it'd be once in a installation and that it needed time to get accustomed. Well... every half hour or so it began to hang and showed the same exact lolly mouse icon busy thing whereas I couldn't do a thing.


Luckily I had already bought a Force 3 180GB SSD before for my Asus laptop. I took it out the Asus laptop and swapped the new SSD (that seemingly is broken) with the 'old' SSD from the Asus laptop and began installing OS X Lion on it. First I erased the partitions with the Disk Utility from the Lion recovery disk and then I began installing Lion on it.

It seemed much better and it didn't hang anymore, so I was happy.


Then I began checking for the rated speed with 'Blackmagic Disk Speed Test' and XBench.

( http://imgur.com/nbEic and http://imgur.com/vyuIn for proof )


The speed is very poor!! It is even very close to a tradional hard disk drive..

The weird thing is that the SSD I also used in the asus laptop with Windows 7 x64 (specs are i7 2630QM 2.0ghz, 8GB DDR3 1333mhz RAM, nvidia GT540M/Intel HD3000 and the Force 3 180GB) it did reach 550/520MB as read and write.

Why won't it get those speeds in OS X Lion? I am very sure the MBP 8,2 has SATA3 for the hard drive SATA connector, and it is connected on that SATA connector.


The firmware of the drive had been updated to 1.3.3 but didn't improve my speeds on OS X Lion. So.. how are we gonna solve this?

I am going to return the faulty 'new' SSD back to the store I bought it and going for a RMA, but the SSD I am using now seems to be working well, but it isn't reaching its speeds, which is very weird because it did so in a Windows 7 x64 Laptop.


Best regards,


Rick van Dijk

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Is the EFI up to date on your MacBook. The latest version was released Oct 26. I get better speeds than you from those tests. If you don't mind writing a large file to the drive then deleting it try:


time dd if=/dev/zero of=testfile bs=4k count=4194304



time dd if=testfile of=/dev/null bs=4k count=4194304


Sequential write/read. I got 490MB/s+ using this.

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Write results:

4194304+0 records in

4194304+0 records out

17179869184 bytes transferred in 34.889100 secs (492413652 bytes/sec)


real 0m34.898s

user 0m1.195s

sys 0m27.768s



Read results:

4194304+0 records in

4194304+0 records out

17179869184 bytes transferred in 41.565201 secs (413323375 bytes/sec)


real 0m41.575s

user 0m1.019s

sys 0m9.637s


It gets close, however, why won't it show those speeds in the benchmarking apps? Seen screenshots of Apple SSDs in MBA's reaching at least 100MB/s higher... which is weird cause it's known those Apple SSDs are slower.


How do I check wether my EFI is up to date? I think it is, but I am not entirely sure.

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'About This Mac' > 'System Report'


Look at the boot rom version below as this is the latest.

Hardware Overview:


Model Name: MacBook Pro

Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,2

Processor Name: Intel Core i7

Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 4

L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

L3 Cache: 6 MB

Memory: 8 GB

Boot ROM Version: MBP81.0047.B24

SMC Version (system): 1.69f3

Serial Number (system):

Hardware UUID:

Sudden Motion Sensor:

State: Disabled

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Yup got the same exact number.

Any clue why the SSD doesn't work as promised in OS X Lion?


Or am I the only one with the problem?

And just the apps hanging with a rotating lolly as mouse icon and unresponsive system..

I am considering buying another brand SSD after the RMA for the other Force 3 if that won't work.. I mean I don't buy a SSD to let it work at HDD speeds. :(

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the advertised speed is based on a windows 7 ATTO score not mac or any other platform or benchmark AFAIK.

Speeds never quite hit the advertised speeds on macbooks. I have Windows 7 installed via bootcamp. Any SSD I've placed into was always shy by 50-100 in ATTO

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But I am seeing other SSD brands hitting the 490 speed/write rating with the same benchmarking program. You can't tell me it's Mac based for hitting so slow.

Corsair drives must have issues with OS X I guess..


I hope the RMA procedure will tell me the latter, but if not, I know what I am going to do.

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I think these drives are a bit hit-and-miss in MacBooks. I ordered a 120GB Force GT for my 2011 13" MacBook Pro (8,1). I ordered the Force GT because I liked the specs and couldn't wait to show off to my friends with other slower-specced SSDs. I knew the risks after reading this forum but bought it anyway, looks like I got a bit unlucky. Read speeds are great, but write speeds are abysmal. What's even worse is that I've had it in for 2 days and already had about 3 lockups. The ego hit on write speeds I can take but lockups aren't going to be fun :p


Despite the fact I have the GT I actually get worse write speeds than you in XBench.




I have no doubt these are good drives under the right hardware, but I seriously couldn't recommend these drives for MacBooks. People are complaining about lockups and speeds on both sata II and sata III. Sometimes you bite the bullet and come out worse off. It's a shame, but that's just the way it is :p

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Locks up under heavy access. Did a Time Machine backup and it locked up about 10 times during. Sleep has been fine, did have an issue coming out of hibernation though (took about 10 minutes once). Hard drive sleep is turned off. Can't turn off SMS - have a HDD in optibay.
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Actually yeah these lockups are pretty bad. Did that dd test, got the following write result (so write speeds are fine):

4194304+0 records in

4194304+0 records out

17179869184 bytes transferred in 33.997931 secs (505321020 bytes/sec)


Then did the read test:

4194304+0 records in

4194304+0 records out

17179869184 bytes transferred in 109.358844 secs (157096295 bytes/sec)


I was using the computer it locked up pretty bad while it was running. In reality, without lockups, this would have been slightly longer than the write process. That process should have taken ~40 seconds, but it took 109 seconds, which is over a minute of lockups.


So yeah. Drive is fine under write, but is now locking up pretty badly during reads.


The really interesting thing is that the drive seems fine when you let it do it's thing. I did dd read and just left terminal there while it was running, it didn't lock up (got 39 seconds three times in a row). Then I did the dd read test while using the computer, and it locked up every time I did it that way. So the issue seems to be related with simultaneous reads? Hopefully that gives a bit of insight to the Corsair guys, maybe this is something that can be fixed with firmware :)

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